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Poverty and Mental Health

Rev. Dr. John S. WalkerAbout the Instructor

Rev. Dr. John S. Walker wears many hats in the community. He is a veteran, head pastor of Christian Friendship Baptist Church and a PRIDE Seminar co-Director (NIMH R25 grant to Paul Duberstein 2007-2012). He has worked extensively around the issue of child abuse and is the founder and leader of a community-wide child abuse prevention effort, Rochester Area Child Abuse Network (RACAN), and until recently he served on the Bivona Child Advocacy Center’s Board of Directors. John’s academic career is long-standing as both an educator and a lifelong learner. He is a former adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College and was a professor in the History and Political Science department at Monroe Community College for 28 years. John completed his B.A.S. at Morris College and his Master’s of Divinity at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He earned his Doctorate in Religion/Religious Studies and History from Syracuse University.  

Course Description

This is a course that was offered at the University of Rochester taught by Rev. Dr. John S. Walker. It discusses some of the major issues of contemporary poverty and mental health. Topics include post-incarcerative re-adjustments, post-traumatic stress and military veterans, the black church as a therapeutic center, the effect of music on depression and other forms of mental hygiene, historical and contemporary mental health issues and immigration, and domestic violence, child abuse, suicidal ideation and its impact on the poor black family. Wherever relevant, patterns of racism and substance abuse are also be discussed. 

The class is presented as a series of phases (approximate video dates outlined below) discussing the topics mentioned (time permitting). Most course discussions were recorded and can be found on our YouTube playlist.

Phase Start Date End Date 
Introduction to Class Topics Jan. 18 Jan. 18
PTSD in Combat Veterans Jan. 23 Feb. 1
Partnering Faith & Medical/Mental Health Communities Feb. 6 Feb. 27
Poverty & Mental Health Issues of Post-Incarcerants & their Families Mar. 1 Mar. 29
Racial, Religious & Social Consequences of Immigration in America Apr. 3 Apr. 24
Poverty and Mental Health (general class wrap-up) Apr. 26 May 1